He is considered to be a member of the Saint Petersburg political groups under Vladimir Putin's presidency.
His father Aleksandr Fursenko (1927–2008) was a renowned historian, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. His brother Sergey Fursenko (b. 1954) is a technician, businessman, TV producer and the president of the football club Zenit (St. Petersburg).
Andrei Fursenko entered the Department of Mathematics and Mechanics of the Leningrad State University in 1966 and graduated from there in 1971. In the university he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which he left in August 1991 as it had been banned.
From 1971-1991 he worked in Leningrad at the Ioffe Physico-Technical Institute as a junior researcher, senior researcher, the chief of the Computer Department (1985–1989), deputy director for science (1987–1991).
He defended his Candidate of Science dissertation in physics in 1978 and his Doctor of Science dissertation in physics in 1990.
In 1990-1991 together with Yuriy Kovalchuk (another deputy director) and Vladimir Yakunin (head of the foreign relations department of the institute) he tried to create a commercial enterprise within the institute that would be engaged in the application of scientific achievements. These plans, however, were opposed by Zhores Alfyorov, director, so that Fursenko, Kovalchuk and Yakunin left their positions in the institute.
Outside the institute in St. Petersburg they founded several companies specializing in science application.
In 1991-1992 Fursenko was a vice-president of the R&D company Advanced Technology Center Ltd headed by Yuriy Kovalchuk.
Since 1992 - November 2001 he was the Director General of the St. Petersburg Regional Foundation for Scientific and Technological Development attached to the electronic factory OJSC Svetlana. RFSED was founded by the Russia bank, JSC "Fund for Regional Development, OJSC Svetlana, City Property Committee of St. Petersburg and three more enterprises.
In 1993 Andrei Fursenko got acquainted with Vladimir Putin who worked in the Office of the Mayor of St. Petersburg as the head of the Committee for External Relations and had registered some of his companies. 
Since the early 90s, Andrei Fursenko owns a dacha in Solovyovka, Priozersky District of the Leningrad region, which is located on the eastern shore of the Komsomol'skoye lake on the Karelian Isthmus near St. Petersburg. His neighbours there are Vladimir Putin, Vladimir Yakunin, his brother Sergey Fursenko, Yuriy Kovalchuk, Viktor Myachin, Vladimir Smirnov and Nikolay Shamalov. On 10 November 1996, together they instituted the co-operative society Ozero (the Lake) which united their properties.
In May 1994 - September 1995 he was CEO of Russian-German Joint venture Investment Consulting Company St. Petersburg (ICC).
In 1995 Andrei Fursenko became a member of the pro-government Our Home Is Russia party.
In September 2000 - 2001 he was a Philippines consul in St. Petersburg, A.H.
Since October 2000 he is the Chairman of the Academic Council of the Foundation "Centre for Strategic Research North-West" (CEO Yuriy Kovalchuk).
From November 2001 until November 2003 Fursenko was Deputy Minister of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation. From November 2003 until March 2004 he was Minister of Industry, Science and Technologies of the Russian Federation. From 9 March 2004 until 21 May 2012 Fursenko was Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federatiom.
Andrei Fursenko refused to prevent compulsory teaching of religious subjects at school  and objected to teaching advanced mathematics at school.
Andrei Fursenko is married and has a son named Alexander. He is fluent in English.
March 20, 2014, the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) published that Fursenko and 19 other men have been added to the Specially Designated Nationals List.Order "For Services to the Fatherland» IV degree (10 August 2009) - for his great contribution in the development of education and science of the Russian Federation and many years of fruitful activity.
Certificate of Merit from the Government of the Russian Federation (17 July 2004) - for his great personal contribution to the development of fundamental and applied science, the formation of the national innovation system and many years of fruitful work.